The once prestigious Seogwipo High School soccer team is flapping its wings for revival. Director Kang Min-kyu (39)’s sweat and dedication are the driving force.
Seogwipo High School was the first Jeju high school to win the National High School Football Championship in 2004, and was a prestigious school representing Jeju Island. It is also famous as the school that produced national goalkeeper Jung Sung-ryong. However, Seogwipo High School faced a crisis of dissolution at the end of last year amid the decline of academy football, with only 8 students remaining except for the 3rd graders. It was a situation where the traditional prestigious school soccer club could disappear into history.
At that time, the leader who appeared as a firefighter was director Kang. After graduating from Korea University last year, Coach Kang took a break in Jeju City and came to coach Seogwipo High School players by chance. It took a while, but school and local officials were deeply impressed with Kang’s leadership and asked him to take over the command tower.
Coach Kang is originally a famous leader in the youth soccer world. This is because he joined Ulsan Hyundai in 2008 and has never played in the first team, but has steadily built a career as a leader after early retirement in 2012. He boasts an extensive career as a leader, starting with the under-12 club soccer team (Home Plus e Paran), leading the Korean Football Association Golden Age (12-15 years old), and working as a head coach at Korea University through a professional team at Jeju United. .
He has a unique background too. Director Kang works as a general field leader and is also a physical expert. After completing the physical coaching course in 2016, he felt a lack of learning and took a master’s course in exercise physiology at Sejong University. He has a reputation as a ‘learning leader’.
Thanks to his well-known background in football, Kang has received attention from several teams in need of a professional coach over the past few years. He even signed a contract with the Chinese team, but could not even leave the country because his visa was not issued due to the Corona 19 pandemic, and other Asian regions also sent love calls. He said that last year he was contacted to coach a professional team. Director Kang, who put several proposals behind, decided to take charge of Seogwipo High School.
We met on the 24th at the Kiko & Elaine Hotel located in Jungmun, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do. “I had a lot of worries, but I chose Seogwipo High School. He had earnest requests from many people, and he also reflected his father’s wish to settle down in one place. He personally liked the area of Seogwipo,” he said.
After taking charge of the team, coach Kang focused on scouting players on land. Knowing his ability well, “I will definitely help him develop as a player. Seeing his promise that there will never be a single day of Hurturu training, he recruited players on the recommendation of the coach, and now a total of 16 are participating in weekend leagues and competitions. In the first half of the league, they are cruising in 3rd place out of 8 teams. Considering that they were on the brink of dissolution last year, this is a remarkable change. Director Kang said, “I want to make Seogwipo High School leap back to a prestigious school. He works with a strong sense of calling. He didn’t even come if he was going to be there for a while. I will lead this team for a long time. Not only me, but all the coaches are trying their best. Thanks to that, the team is gradually improving.”메이저놀이터
Although the size of the team is insufficient compared to other teams, Seogwipo High School is cruising without a single injury after winter training thanks to coach Kang, who is also a physical expert. “The players are doing well,” he said. High school is really fun. It is possible to apply tactics because it is in the stage of adult soccer. Apparently, studying physical education helps a lot. I feel proud and rewarded to see that no one has been hurt yet and is doing well.”
Director Kang wants to make Seogwiporo a stronger team through ‘active thinking’. He said, “I want to help him become a player who judges and decides for himself in everything. In the arena, I think that the leader only needs to play the role of creating a framework for tactics. 80-90% must be chosen by the players themselves. He tries not to give the right answer even in training. He asks the coach to tell only about the position selection. Only then can players develop and grow. Based on this philosophy, I want to develop Seogwipogo players.”